The dark side of asking: What if they tell me NO?

A reader inquired how to ask for a raise. She was nervous and didn’t know what to say. It’s totally normal to feel that way, no matter what level you are in your career. Asking for a raise is scary and it’s a request with the potential to get told “no.” But the possibility of a “no” shouldn’t prevent you from making the ask.

I’ve covered in previous blogs the necessity of courage in making an ask. Courage is definitely required. You don’t get to stop there, though. If you are making the kind of asks that I coach women to make, it’s a pretty big, hairy, scary ask. I want you to actually GO FOR THE NO.

Next, after you have the most exhilarating ask crafted, you have to do some soul-searching work to define exactly what will be an acceptable counter offer and what is a no-go for you. When you make a big ask, your goal is to make sure you get the most out of the heart-pounding, stomach-sinking, knee-knocking big ask. I want you to come away knowing that this was a win, even if it was made clear that it’s time to walk away — that you and your audience don’t align.

You must be super clear on what will constitute your yes — the thing you’ll accept that is still aligned to your goals and timeline. If you’ve ever shopped on eBay or been to a live auction, certain items are “reserve.” That means if a minimum bid isn’t met, the item doesn’t get sold. In the same regard, if your minimum requirements can’t be met, you don’t accept the counteroffer. Clearly defining what this looks like for you is key to accessing the courage and confidence you’ll need going into the conversation.

So in the next step of your ask process, courage is required for negotiating. You may get a counter offer. In fact, you SHOULD get a counter offer if you’re following my guidance. Some back and forth should occur at this point to come to a mutually agreeable plan going forward.

Or maybe the best you are offered doesn’t meet your minimum.

If this happens, don’t take it personally.

Think of it as a difference in values — and what you both value — but this is where your preparation and consideration of what is minimally acceptable to you allows you to draw that line in the sand. It’s perfectly OK to say, “No, thanks, I just can’t accept that.” You end up standing up for what’s important to you, which gives you a pretty massive boost in confidence and energy. You do need to have an abundance mentality, though, and know that other opportunities, asks and offers will come your way.

Inquiry: Where do I say yes, when I really mean no? Women, in particular, are notorious for saying yes to too much. Wouldn’t it be great if we all started saying YES to what we really want and NO without feeling guilty?

I know today’s message went deep, detailed and step-by-step, and maybe leaves you feeling a bit naked and afraid.

Like, “That’s great you’re so dang brave, Dia, but that’s not me.”

Asking is just like anything else you want to excel at, though. It takes practice. You can’t expect to become a powerful asker if you don’t take the first step. The desires and goals you have are in your heart and mind for a reason. Do you want to keep living your life ignoring what you truly want? You wouldn’t be here if you did.

If you need more help, you can easily get it with Welcome to the ZOFO where I show you exactly how to quit holding yourself back. You can be ready to rock an ask in just 53 minutes!


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